BK beefs up new product development

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LONDON -- Burger King has signaled its commitment to new product development with the appointment of a director with specific responsibility for the function across the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region.

John Prior's move from sales and marketing director for Burger King U.K. follows the recent installation of a senior VP of research and development in the U.S.

Mr. Prior's new role will include responsibility for coordinating the pan-European launch of new products, of which Burger King claims there are a number. Crispy fries, which have proved a runaway success in the U.S., are already on trial in Scotland, for example. The company says new product development is a "strategic global priority."

Replacing Mr. Prior is Lorraine Thomson, who will also take charge of sales and marketing in Ireland. Ms. Thomson was most recently global strategic marketing manager at Guinness, responsible for the Kilkenny brand. Before that, she was head of marketing-take home for Whitbread Beer Co. in the U.K.

The reshuffle is effective August 6. Mr. Prior will report to David Williams, president-Europe, Middle East & Africa.

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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